Hilotherapy and facial feminization aftercare

Facialteam has employed hilotherapy (controlled cooling therapy) in thousands of patients since 2008, witnessing first-hand its many benefits.

We want our patients to receive the best attention at each stage, not only from a surgical standpoint, but also with regard to other aspects that help you to feel well before, during and after your facial feminization procedure. Our Comprehensive Care Department services include hilotherapy during the first 24 hours after the operation, the most critical period to alleviate swelling and bruising.

In this video below, FT’s physiotherapist and expert in lymphatic drainage massage briefly explains the positive impact of controlled cooling therapy after facial feminization surgery.

Why Hilotherapy is better than ice

In many patients, surgery brings up feelings of fear, especially about the pain in the postoperative period. We are often asked about the postoperative symptoms frequently associated with surgery, such as swelling and bruising. 

Traditionally, cooling is recommended after an intervention, often in the form of short-term chemical packs, bags of frozen peas or even just ice to reduce these effects. Unfortunately, frozen material is not beneficial due to the negative impact of freezing temperatures on the blood supply, halting the lymphatic drainage the tissues need for recovery.

Hilotherapy is a solution which provides the perfect combination: a cool and constant temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. This is optimal to reduce bleeding, swelling and bruising, therefore diminishing pain after FFS surgery yet permitting the body’s lymphatic function so that the automatic mechanisms for healing may continue.  The only infrequently reported drawback has been a slight”claustrophobic” feeling by some, since the soft silicone mask is attached with light pressure of elasticated bands,  covering the face although breathing channels are always clear.

Through the use of hilotherapy, or cryotherapy, we can maintain the constant temperature ideal for healing without blocking lymphatic drainage. Therefore, inflammation and associated pain and bruising are limited considerably, providing a higher degree of comfort, safety and improved results for patients receiving this treatment immediately after surgery for a near continuous 24 – 48 hours.

Improved Aftercare with Hilotherapy cooling masks

Hilotherapy is applied by wearing one or more insulated devices, anatomically designed, to accurately regulate the temperature of the skin and underlying tissues of the particular area. The system works with various models of “masks” which are connected to a closed-circuit of fluid kept at a continuous temperature by the technology.

The doctors report, “The hilotherapy face mask, which is easy to put on and remove when necessary, allows us to maintain a constant optimum temperature in the affected area, without the risks caused by freezing of the tissues.” Facialteam patients report a feelings of relief obtained with hilotherapy.

In addition, a lower incidence of problems associated with postoperative inflammation as well as a lower demand for analgesia after surgery have been reported.  Even the soft hum of the device has been comforting in the first nights after the procedure!

Research in Hilotherapy

hilotherapy facialteam

Given the multiple advantages of hilotherapy,  Facialteam´s Research and Development team has even met with Hilotherm engineers from Germany to pioneer its application in the field of FFS Surgery.

Hilotherapy is highly indicated after many types of surgical treatment, such as facial feminization, facial bone sculpture, plus oral and orthognathic surgery. Since working with Hilotherm on specific advancements in 2012 to develop new designs of improved comfort and performance, Facialteam´s R&D department has continued working on multiple advancements in the field of maxillofacial and FFS Surgery for the ultimate benefit of our patients.

Patient Relations Manager Lilia Koss, presentator of Lilia's Livestreams
About the author

Hello world! I’m Lilia Koss and I use she, her, and they pronouns. What are yours? With a background in humanities and diverse professional experiences, I have been working with the Facialteam founders and directors since 2008. Involved from the ground up, so I’ve had hands in many pots: patient coordination, orientation events on 3 continents, social media, written and audiovisual content about our gender-affirming healthcare...but now life is more defined. Lately, I focus my energies on Public Relations, community management and live streaming to help raise the visibility of trans health. Life is pretty complete.